ROTHERHAM’S popular Christmas panto has been scrapped after it was announced Rotherham Civic Theatre will be closed until next spring, with theatre bosses saying coronavirus restrictions had put paid to shows being staged “for some time”.
We reported last week how Rotherham Council had said the theatre was not under threat of permanent closure, unlike many venues across the country, and that its staff’s jobs were safe.
But Rotherham Theatres announced on Tuesday that the Civic would definitely not reopen this year.
“Rotherham Civic Theatre is pleased to confirm it has no plans to permanently close the theatre or reduce our staff team,” they said in a statement.
“However, with great reluctance we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the reopening of the Civic until spring 2021.”
Government social distancing rules, expected to be in place “for some time”, would mean only ten per cent of seats could be sold, meaning reopening would not be financially viable or “other the quality of experience we want for our audiences”, added the statement.
The move means this year’s panto, Aladdin, has been axed but Rotherham Theatres said it aimed to take the Christmas tradition out into the community.
In the mean time, new programmes will be developed in preparation for reopening.
Theatre-goers who have bought tickets for autumn shows will be contacted in person.